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Between and Mortarboard


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Rooster on a Branch

Accession Number
1965/1.156

Title
Rooster on a Branch

Artist(s)
Itô Jakuchû

Object Creation Date
18th century

Medium & Support
hanging scroll, ink on paper

Dimensions
72 1/2 in x 24 3/4 in (184.15 cm x 62.87 cm)

Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible by the Margaret Watson Parker Art Collection Fund

Subject matter
Itō Jakuchū is widely known for his depictions of plants and animals in association with Zen Buddhism. The son of a successful merchant family who sold groceries, Jakuchū left the family business to study Zen Buddhism. His numerous depictions of plants and animals are believed to represent the inherent Buddha nature of all living things. The rooster was specifically linked to Zen thought, as the sharp cry of the rooster was likened to the moment of enlightenment. 

Physical Description
This hanging scroll depicts a chicken executed in rapid brushstrokes, using various shades of black ink. The face of the bird is naturalistically depicted, while its tail feathers are somewhat abstracted. 

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
hanging scroll

Collection Area
Asian

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Birds
Japan
branches
hanging scroll
roosters
trees

4 Related Resources

Ink and Realisms
(Part of: Artist Associations and Art Movements)
Japan Pax Tokugawa 1600-1868
(Part of: Empires and Colonialism)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved